If you are suffering psychological or financial damage following a social services data breach, you may be wondering if you can make a claim.
A personal data breach can cause significant harm, both to your finances and your mental health. In this guide, we will explain what constitutes a data breach and what kinds of personal information could be impacted should a social services agency suffer a data breach.
We will also discuss compensation eligibility criteria and the legislation that lays these criteria out. Following this, we will provide guideline compensation examples to help give you an idea of what you could potentially receive.
To conclude, we will explain what a No Win No Fee arrangement is and how a No Win No Fee data breach solicitor could help you through the claims process. Our advisors are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have regarding your social services data breach claim.
Choose A Section
- What is a Data Breach?
- Social Services Data Breach Claim – When Could I Make One?
- How To Report A Data Protection Breach
- Social Services Data Breach Claim – Potential Compensation Payouts
- What Are The Benefits of Using A No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitor?
- Learn More About Making A Claim For A Social Services Data Breach
Our personal data is shared with many organisations when we use their services. Due to this increasing use of sharing and processing data, central legislation has been put in place to protect the personal data of UK residents. The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) outline the steps and procedures that organisations should follow when handling personal data.
This legislation also sets out the criteria that your case must meet should you wish to make a claim. For example, you must:
- Suffer harm as a result of the personal data breach
- Prove that your personal data was compromised
- Prove that the breach was caused by wrongful conduct on the part of the organisation or agency
The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) holds organisations accountable to data protection legislation and can enforce fines on those who violate these laws.
The UK GDPR describes a personal data protection breach as a security incident involving the accidental or purposeful destruction, alteration, loss, unauthorised access to or disclosure of personal data. This includes any information that can identify you, such as your:
- Postal address
- Bank details
- Email address
- Date of birth
Social services agencies may also collect special category data. This is a kind of personal data that needs extra protection due to its sensitive nature and can include information regarding your:
- Health, for example, your medical records
- Racial or ethnic origin
- Religious beliefs
- Biometric data
- Trade union status
To learn more about what constitutes a personal data breach, contact our team of advisors today.
Social services is an umbrella term for a number of health, welfare, and protective agencies. Each of these agencies and organisations will collect, store, and process different kinds of personal data, and because of this, there are a variety of ways that a personal data breach could occur. For example:
- Verbal disclosure: A social worker may verbally disclose personal data or information to unauthorised parties, causing you distress.
- Lost or stolen devices: Mobile phones, USB sticks, portable hard drives, and laptops can all store records or files that contain personal data. If these devices are not properly protected and are lost or stolen, this could become a personal data breach.
- Cybercrime: Organisations that work beneath the social services umbrella must have appropriate cybersecurity policies in place. If they don’t, this could lead to cybercriminals using ransomware or other viruses to steal personal data.
Our advisors are available if you need any support regarding making a data breach compensation claim.
You may be informed by social services of a data breach involving your personal information. On the other hand, you may learn of the data breach yourself. If this is the case, you can report the breach to the organisation by making a complaint. They may provide further information.
If you don’t receive a response within three months, or if the response is unsatisfactory, then you can make a complaint to the ICO. The ICO are able to levy fines against organisations if they find evidence of positive wrongful conduct.
It can be helpful to collect evidence to support your case. For example, a notification letter from the social services agency informing you of the breach. Or a bank statement that shows proof of financial harm.
Our advisors can supply you with free legal advice and assist you with seeking compensation following a social services data breach. Get in touch today to learn more.
Non-material damage relates to the psychological impact you sustain due to a personal data breach. This includes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression. Non-material damage takes into account what the impact of your injuries will have on your life moving forward.
You can see examples in the compensation table below for non-material damage. This was created using information from the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), which is a publication used by solicitors to value data breach claims.
|Severe Psychological Damage (a)||£54,830 - £115,730||Prognosis is extremely poor, alongside the injured persons struggles to cope with life.|
|Moderately Severe Psychological Damage (b)||£19,070 - £54,830||Cases have a more optimistic prognosis than above, yet significant problems similar to the above persist.|
|Moderate Psychological Damage (c)||£5,860 - £19,070||A good prognosis occurs as a result of symptoms that improve by the time of trial.|
|Less Severe Psychological Damage (d)||£1,540 - £5,860||The level of award will depend on the length of time that injuries affect sleep and daily activities.|
|Severe PTSD (a)||£59,860 - £100,670||All aspects of life are poorly affected, preventing the injured person from living near the pre-trauma level.|
|Moderately Severe PTSD (b)||£23,150 - £59,860||Significant disabilities are still in effect, though professional help can result in a better prognosis.|
|Moderate PTSD (c)||£8,180 - £23,150||Most injuries can be recovered from, with some non-grossly disabling effects remaining.|
|Less Severe PTSD (d)||£3,950 - £8,180||Minor injuries can persist, but most recoveries can be made within two years.|
Please note that the figures in the table are a guideline. Our advisors can provide you with an estimate for your social services data breach claim. Reach out to us today to learn more.
Data Breach Claim – Other Damages You May Be Able to Claim For
Material damage compensates you for any financial losses you sustain from a personal data breach. These losses can include:
- Illegal withdrawals from your bank account
- Damaging effects on your credit score
- Identity theft resulting in debt
It is important that you retain evidence to receive material damage. You could use copies of payslips, bank statements, emails and letters as valid forms of evidence for your claim.
See below how you can work with a No Win No Fee solicitor to help you validate and strengthen your social services data breach claim.
A No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel may be able to provide legal representation for your claim under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). With this agreement, you gain the benefits of legal representation, usually without having to pay fees to your solicitor either upfront or for the duration of your claim.
If your claim succeeds, you will pay a success fee. Your solicitor will take this as a percentage of your final award. However, this percentage has a legal cap to help ensure that you get the majority of your settlement. But, if your claim does not succeed, then you do not pay for your solicitor’s services.
To learn more about how a No Win No Fee solicitor from our panel can help you, get in touch today by following the information below.
Get A Free Consultation To See If You Can Claim
Our advisors can provide you with a free consultation to assess if your claim is valid. If it is, they may connect you with a solicitor from our expert panel. Get in touch to find out more:
We’ve provided some additional resources that may be useful to you.
You can also see more of our data breach guides here.
Thank you for reading our social services data breach guide. If you have any remaining questions, please don’t hesitate to contact our advisors.
Writer Jess Arrow
Publisher Cat Hunt